A grandiose tribute to the centenary of the vibrant Indian cinema and an enthusing talk on film criticism marked the second day of the 12thOsian’s Cinefan Festival of Asian and Arab Cinema which had seen an energetic opening yesterday.
Deewar, the wall that exemplifies the best in Indian cinema with colourful snapshots from the best in Bollywood, commenced with a lively discussion between historian Amrit Gangar and young filmmakers Q and Rii that highlighted the main theme of Freedom of Thought and Expression that the Festival has adopted as its central theme this year.
Both Q and Rii were clear that they did not look too much upon heritage for their themes, since ‘we lay too much emphasis on certain things’. Q said it was odd that Indians had grown watching films about sex and sensuality, but were afraid of talking about the subject. Similarly, Indians admired sculptures but were afraid to talk about Khajuraho.
The duo, who have earlier made ‘Gandu’ and ‘Love in India’, are now doing a researched film on the Sari.
Gangar regretted that India had made around 1300 silent films till 1934 but not even one per cent had been preserved.
Later in the day, renowned Egyptian film critic Samir Farid who received the Aruna Vasudev Lifetime Achievement Award here yesterday said “I don’t like people who consider a critic as a judge. I hate to consider myself a judge. I consider myself a man of cinema.”
“Everyone has a right to like or dislike any work of art or film. A critic is professional. It is his home profession to see a film or to read or to listen to music or any kind of art. Professional critic means he has a method.” He went on to say that he studied literature and theatre and not cinema. Each art has its own language.” One of the key parts is that it is for one to know how to say a success or a failure.
Explaining his methodology, he said “There are two big branches of art. The first one belongs to the popular heritage in music and literature or anything. The second being films or works of art that suppresses the individual or the work of an individual.”
The day also saw the opening of the short film section with six films from as many countries.
Later in the evening Afghan born Atiq Rahimi, a member of the jury, said that shortage of funds made it difficult for filmmakers to make films in Afghanistan.
He also referred to shortage of trained manpower.
He said Bollywood films were very popular and were being dubbed in local languages and released in theatres.